Research: MCKINNEY and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 27


MCKINNEY and colleagues, Department of Music Education/Music Therapy, University of Miami, USA. studied the effect of guided imagery and music therapy on mood and stress levels.



28 healthy adults took part in a randomised trial of Bonny Method of Guided Imagery and Music (GIM - a depth approach to music psychotherapy) sessions to study effects upon mood and cortisol levels. Recruits in the GIM and waiting list control groups completed the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and gave 15 cc blood prior to and following the 13-week intervention period and also at 6-week follow-up.


Following 6 bi-weekly sessions, GIM participants reported significant decreases in depression, fatigue and total mood disturbance and cortisol level by follow-up. The pretest to follow-up decrease in cortisol was significantly associated with decreased mood disturbance.


A short series of GIM sessions can positively affect mood and reduce cortisol levels in health adults. Such changes in hormonal regulation may have health implications for people who suffer chronic stress.


McKinney CH et al. Effects of guided imagery and music (GIM) therapy on mood and cortisol in healthy adults. Health Psychol 16(4): 390-400. Jul 1997.


Positive Health will be publishing another extended feature about the therapeutic properties of music in the June issue No. 29.

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